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Help your readers read quickly (no speed bumps)

Last night I stayed up late to finish an excellent book of British crime fiction called How to be Bad. It was often funny and surprising. Loved it.

However, it’s amazing how fragile a narrative is. I was speeding along having a good time when I hit this speed bump: “…she kind of shrugged with her eyes.” That bounced me right out of the author’s world for a bit. I actually had to put down the book to go look in a mirror to see if I could shrug with my eyes.With a tic and an arch I can sort of convey that with my eyebrows I guess.

When you’re writing, make sure you don’t hit a sour note or ask the impossible from your characters. Stay clear of that minefield and you have a better shot at sucking the reader into your story.

BONUS:

“Said” is the best tag. because the tag allows readers to skip along. (e.g. “Put down the bloody bologna,” she said.)

Don’t say he or she “hissed”, especially if there are no “s” sounds in the dialogue.

Filed under: writing tips, , ,

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